Pathologically chronic pain and pain avoidance behavior within predictive processing framework
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Pain as the most enquired philosophical theme is a complex experience, which includes sensation, emotion, motivation, cognition, and social interaction. However, there is not a single overarching philosophical theory that accounts for all the dimensions of pain. The most overlooked discussion of pain is on its motivational aspect; yet, it is indispensable for an integrated understanding of pain. Also, its least debated area is the substantial relation between pathologically chronic pain and action. In this thesis, I attempt to investigate why physiologically acute pain outlasts its purposes to transform into pathologically chronic pain and why pathologically chronic pain is accompanied by pain avoidance behavior by drawing inferences from the explore-exploit dilemma. I also examine the related pain theories addressing their failures in answering these questions. I conclude that analyzing pathologically chronic pain and pain avoidance behavior within predictive processing framework (1) provides an active learning account for pathologically chronic pain, (2) ensures an active inference account for pain avoidance behavior, (3) allows an active learning account for pain avoidance behavior only if certain conditions are met, and (4) points out the disparate action strategies are accountable for pathologically acute pain, pain avoidance behavior, and physiologically acute pain.
Pain avoidance behavior
Pathologically chronic pain